The Flock

Joan Frances Casey, Author, Lynn Wilson, With Alfred A. Knopf $22.95 (303p) ISBN 978-0-394-56842-3
In this extraordinary, convincing account of her psychological fragmentation and arduous journey toward wholeness, the pseudonymous Casey displays the impulse toward health that seems a driving force of nature. She begins her story, with all names and locations changed, at the University of Chicago, where, as a graduate student, she sought counseling in 1981. Unlike Casey's previous experiences of quick-fix therapy, this time the psychotherapist, Wilson, proved a sensitive listener. Casey soon revealed her secret names, marking different selves with distinct memories and, as observed by Wilson, distinct voices, postures and expressions. Originally opposed to Wilson's diagnosis of Multiple Personality Disorder, Casey embraced it during her struggles over the four-year course of intensive therapy, through stages of cooperation, opposition and even sabotage among selves that included the competent Renee, scholar Joan, self-destructive Josie, self-possessed Kendra and Rusty, a boy. Wilson's interspersed notes, covering her concerns as she extended therapy beyond the office and included her husband, a high school teacher, in the ``reparenting'' of each of Casey's personalities, offer a balancing perspective. Deftly told and studded with striking images, Casey's story--distinguished by her intelligence and courage and by Wilson's unremitting patience and compassion--witnesses equally the power of cruelty and indifference to damage children profoundly, and the capacity of love and hard work to heal. Casey is now a university professor. Literary Guild alternate. (May)
Reviewed on: 06/03/1991
Release date: 06/01/1991
Paperback - 368 pages - 978-0-449-90732-0
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